- A couple mistakenly vandalized a painting on display at a mall in Seoul, South Korea.
- The painting by JonOne, an American graffiti artist, is worth $440,000, according to ABC News.
- The canvas work was displayed with paint containers and brushes but wasn’t meant to be interactive.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A couple visiting an art gallery at a mall in Seoul, South Korea, mistakenly vandalized a canvas painting by the American graffiti artist JonOne, the head of the exhibition told Reuters on Friday.
The couple, who are in their 20s, were visiting the exhibit on March 28 when they mistook the containers of paint and paintbrushes — which were intentionally displayed in front of JonOne’s artwork — as signs for the public to contribute, according to ABC News.
A surveillance camera captured the couple picking up paint and adding it to the artwork. Their marks can be seen in the form of dark-green splotches, ABC News reported.
The couple added these dark-green splotches onto the painting by JonOne, gallery staff told ABC News.
Police reviewed the surveillance footage and arrested the couple at the mall, and they were later released without being charged, Kang Wook, the CEO of Contents Creator of Culture, which co-organized the exhibit, told ABC News.
“They thought they were allowed to do that as participatory art and made a mistake,” Kang told the outlet. “We are currently in discussions with the artist about whether to restore it.”
JonOne, whose full name is John Andrew Perello, was born in New York and is now based in Paris.
The artist painted the piece, “Untitled,” in 2016 in front of an audience in Seoul.
At the 2016 live painting exhibition, JonOne intentionally kept the paint containers and brushes in front of the final work. The same props were displayed at the current gallery to show the history of JonOne’s work.
JonOne’s agency told ABC News that the painting is worth $440,000.
JonOne poses with one of his pieces of art in Lisbon on September 10, 2020.
PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images
A representative for the artist also told ABC News that JonOne “does not plan to respond to the incident.”
According to Reuters, after the two visitors added paint to the graffiti piece, the gallery added a barrier and “do not touch” sign in front of it.
Representatives for JonOne did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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